I remember a time when bands like Ludichrist and Wehrmacht mixed fun with metal/hardcore. Call it crossover if you like. I get the same feeling for Austrian REPLICA. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

When I first saw your band name I thought you were some sort of spoof band for Epica. What was the reason in the first place to start REPLICA?
-I wish I can tell you a funny story about it. But there isn’t any story. We were young had one sixpack together with a dictionary in our hands and said: “Oh Replica, it’s similar listening like Metallica, that would be a great band name.” That’s the absolute truth. There aren’t any connections to Epica or Six Feet Under.

From my stand point you operate in the same mood frame as bands like Ludichrist, Wehrmacht or Lawnmower Deth. The more cynical and sarcastical side of metal. How do you react to that statement?
-First of all I don’t know any of those bands mentioned. Our intention was to create the title and the artwork of the new album a little different and sarcastic indeed. Generally I don’t care about comparisons to other bands but criticism in a constructive way is always welcome. The lyrics treat serious issues anyway.

When you mix humor with metal how do you avoid to end up the butt end of a joke?
-Good question, I guess it is a mixture of being aware of your instrument on stage, a spectacular show, good communication with the crowd and of course a good record.

I just gotta know. What kind of scene is there for your kind of music? I like Tenacious D but I do not take them seriously.
-I consider our type of music as suitable for old-school fans as well as for sympathisants of modern sound. Tenacious D are epic as fuck, though, I wouldn’t compare Replica with an acoustic-funny-musical-theater-band. There was a change in our line up, so we have combined some weird elements at some parts. Some people like it, some don’t.

It’s one thing to think up a joke or being sarcastical in spirit but how do you take that from idea to actually make it work on record?
-The process is really complicated, every rehearsal will be recorded and analyzed. The conglomerate of the best ideas gets carried together and notated, then the pre-production follows. The lyrics are selected by the parameters that define the songs when they are finished, unless they aren’t required for structural reasons. Every drum-beat is written down and brought to perfection, nothing left for coincidence except for some improvised guitar solos. Hard work for lots of fun!

Is metal too serious? Have we lost the ability to laugh at ourselves?
-For me “fun” is one of the biggest reasons to be in a band. Unless one approaches the big goal to live from making the music you like (and have dozens of contracts with greedy companies of every kind) you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously. Though some guys will always run into you who still don’t get that. Open-mindedness, consistent working and good connections are the holy grail.

When I think of it I can’t seem to remember having seen one single comedy movie that originated from your home country. How fun are you guys really?
-There are some hilarious comedies, like with Roland Düringer from Vienna. Generally the people in Vienna are more like grumpy and curse all the time (not everywhere in Austria, many differences here), so it’s a really sarcastic if not dark humour. I also saw some sort of depressing comedy recently. I don’t think that many translations exist you know, we are Metal not Hollywood.

Is there any danger in you guys getting lost in the myriads of metal albums that is being released each month? How will you make yourself noticed?
-In the first place we play a lot of shows to stay in the minds of the people. Concerning our release show, we plastered every corner of our environment with posters and flyers, not to mention the artillery of online bombardments full of spam and advertising. And of course a decent cover-artwork which has to cause controversial public discussions. Every publicity is good publicity!

How do you take your music to the stage? What kind of show do you put on?
-We never appeared too hardcore, we have no tattoos and wear short pants on stage with sandals and colorful shirts. Most important is the first musical impact you have on the crowd, they decide pretty quickly if they like something or not. Also some funny stuff like a “wall of death” and jumping in each other’s faces keeps them watching a show.

Have I made a complete fool of myself for asking you these questions?
-No. Thanks for the interview!

THE BEYOND “Frostbitepanzerfuck”

I can understand the use of war imagery in black metal but I can never ever understand the need for wars. THE BEYOND might at first glance seem like a War clone or a Marduk wannabe but I really hope that there is much more to this than that. I’m in need of a really great blast of no nonsense black metal. To my disappointment this was nothing like either Swedish all-star crew War or Marduk. It is more along the line of what Darkthrone has done on their more recent albums. This is much more punk metal than an all out black metal assault. I don’t know about the lyrical content but musically this is actually right up my alley. I like the raw “I don’t give a fuck” attitude that this band displays. It takes me back in time. Anders Ekdahl


“The meeting Point”
Just as I’m not a great fan of compilations I’m no advocate for split albums (unless they are split on different records). But I’ll give anything one chance. You never k now what you’ll find. This split with two French post rock acts could turn out to be a minor gold mine. I am not the hugest Radiohead fan but I can appreciate music that is borderline. Which is why I have no problem liking music that is not just metal or hardcore or hardrock. So let us start with VOLTE FACE. Somehow I get the feeling that this band is moving in the same circles as Isis. It is very atmospheric and cinematic. They paint with the wide brush. And seeing as I like to be taken on a journey by music I have nothing against that. CORBEAUX on the other hand… aren’t that different. This is also very dreamlike music similar to that of Isis and its likes. Listening to this split I get a Chris Marker ( a French film maker) feeling. And seeing as I like what Mr Marker does I have no problem liking this too. Anders Ekdahl


“Bringer Of Light”
Ever since I heard Omen’s “Battle Cry” I’ve had a special place in my metal heart for power metal. I don’t get to hear as many power metal albums as I would have liked so whenever one drops in on me I treasure that moment for a long time. DAMNATION ANGELS will hopefully clench some of my thirst. This one started with a massive blast, once you got past the intro. I am a huge sucker for symphonic power metal. I love Kamelot and any band that is reminiscent of that. So when I got to hear this album by DAMNATION ANGELS it was like being treated to the best cake in the coffee shop, and on my birthday too. I couldn’t be any happier. I wouldn’t call it a religious moment but it sure was a revelation to hear this album at this time and point. Oh how I miss some good power metal. Anders Ekdahl

DEADLANDS “Evilution”

I know that the title of one of my favourite songs by Metal Church is called “Wasteland” but when I saw this US band’s name I couldn’t help thinking about Metal Church. I have a soft spot for American power metal played by bands like Savatage or Vicious Rumours. I really hope that this will be up there with those bands in terms of sheer power. This is the kind of power metal that I expect from an American band. That there too is a feeling of thrash to this album just adds to the goody bag. It is so cool to see that there are still bands like this popping up on the US soil. It promises good things for the future. So if you like your power metal with a bit of thrash then you’d better rush out to check this one out. Anders Ekdahl

EDVIAN “2012”

(Metal Scrap)
OK, so the world did not go under as predicted by the Mayans. We live through it all and came out unharmed on the other side. That we’ve made it so far is no guarantee that we will make it all the way. Perhaps EDVIAN can give us the answer to our own demise with their album “2012”. If you don’t know if by know I’ll tell you that I’m a huge film buff. Got the diploma to prove it too. I have no problems sitting through an Ingmar Bergman film but I might enjoy a really cool US action film just as much. This album by EDVICIN made me think “The Mummy” (and not the Boris Karloff one) in the intro. There is an evil lurking feel to this album. Just as you thought you’d figured it out in comes a really heavy and evil sound. This is basically a progressive heavy metal album but as I said there is more than meets the ear. And that fact alone makes this a really cool album highly recommended if you like stuff like Stratovarius or Sonata Artica. Anders Ekdahl

EN NIHIL “The Approaching Dark”

“The Approaching Dark”
For some reason I find industrial music intriguing. I can’t explain what it is about industrial music that entices me but there is something to primal and raw that I find exciting. American EN NIHIL is a band whose name I’ve seen floating around but never got round to checking out. Until now that is. Described as death industrial I look forward to be invited into the universe that is their music. If you ever wondered what the apocalypse would sound like put to music this is the kind of stuff you should listen to. While not even close to music in the conventional terms this is some really haunting sounds. Listen to it with headphones on late at night and you’ll need to seek professional help when you wake up. This is really disturbing and bloody beautiful. In the 90s I used to get sent much more of this kind of stuff and I do miss it. This was a really cool introduction to EN NIHIL. Anders Ekdahl


“Saivon Lapsi”
This is one Finnish band that I’ve neglected for a very long time. I think we last made our acquaintance back in the late 90s. Much water has passed under our respective bridges but now our streams meet again. Don’t know what a meeting it will be but I’m still looking forward to it. I have to admit that I don’t remember them too well from back in the days. I have a faint memory of liking that album I heard back then but so much water has passed under the bridge and the fact that I haven’t paid attention to them that well makes this meeting seem like our first. But I do get a melodic death metal with a touch of goth/symphonic feel to it. And I do like this (too). Can’t say anything about the progress but if you like your metal a bit on the death/symphonic/goth side then this will be your bag of goodies. Anders Ekdahl

FIENDS AT FEAST “Towards The Baphomet’s Throne”

“Towards The Baphomet’s Throne”
It is not necessary to have any expectations on a band to fully enjoy the outcome. I have no idea where this band are from or what to expect. But with an open mind and two ears finely tuned in I’ll take this on with confidence. What is it with all these intros? Get on with it will you. I don’t know if it is age that has made me more patience but there used to be a time when I almost couldn’t stand bands that play mid tempo. Nowadays I have more understanding of mid tempo and can actually like it. FIENDS AT FEAST are not the most blast per minute kind of band. Instead they seem to go for the heavier approach. It kinda makes me think of Morbid Angel without even sounding like MA. It is just that they got that groove that MA too have (had?). I like this not so full on death metal that FAF play. Anders Ekdahl

KRYPTS “Unending Degradation”

“Unending Degradation”
(Dark Descent)
Dark Descent seems to have a special eye to the Finnish extreme metal scene. Band after band of Finnish origin keeps popping up on that label and for most of the time it is damn good bands too. KRYPTS are supposedly kult. Can’t say anything about that simply because I don’t remember them or if I’ve heard their metal before. I have no minority complex. Neither do I have a grandeur complex. That is why I can rejoice in the fact that the Nordic bands are so bloody much better than any other bands in the whole damn world. Don’t agree? Prove me wrong then. KRYPTS might have a history like a I said but I totally missed out on that or my memory slips my mind. This is in any case death metal in that very old school that was so cool (and still is) back in the late 80s/early 90s. Need I say that this is blood brilliant? Didn’t think so. Anders Ekdahl